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President M D Higgins – Christmas Message To Ireland

Delivering the President’s annual Christmas message today, Irish President Michael D Higgins stated that it was the diverse and hard working communities striving to help themselves which truly defined Ireland.

The President stated, “As our economy has contracted in recent times, many people are feeling the consequences, in terms of employment or income. However, our economic condition does not, on its own, define who we are. We are, for example, a country with a network of communities, that are increasingly active in responding to their own, and their societies, difficulties. We also have the resource of our scattered people around the world, who support each other, and who value their connection with their homeland.”

Speaking about the difficulties being faced by some families because of rising unemployment, emigration and family bereavement, the President stated, “Christmas provides an opportunity for us all to pause, reflect, and celebrate the things that we rightly cherish. It is a time when we, as citizens, as families, and as communities turn our minds to what are really important – family, friendship, neighbourliness and homecoming. At this time especially, those of us who are fortunate enough to have a joyous Christmas should be mindful of the need to reach out to others who – due to loss, emigration, illness or financial circumstances are going through a difficult time.

President Higgins also recognised the work undertaken by Ireland’s emergency services, Gardaí, Prison Officers, Defence Forces and Medical Staff, who would be on standby; providing Ireland’s essential services over the Christmas festive period. He stated:  “I thank all these public service personnel for their dedicated service to our community. There is much to be proud of, and much to build on, as we prepare for the New Year and we look forward with hope and courage to realising all the possibilities that it presents. May I wish all the Irish at home and abroad, and those who live and work with them, a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a New Year full of promise, health and fulfilment?

Picture Above – L – R: Marian McGennis (SNA Teacher.),  Frank Tuohy (Teacher, Thurles.) & Dr Karen Willoughby (Former President of RAI & Teacher, Thurles.) with President Michael D Higgins, at the recent RAI 2012 Conference held in Dublin. (Photo courtesy Richard Gavin.)

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